What's your Score?

April 22, 2007

We like to think we're in control, so we track things. Even before the invention of the Abacus, people counted, calculated and kept score of various aspects in life. We inundate ourselves with sports statistics, diagnostics, medical tests and even magazine-rack psychology know-yourself gimmick quizzes, to delude ourselves into believing that if we quantify our life, we control it. What's your score, really?

Ever since the Intelligence Quotient arose on the cerebral scene thanks to Alfred Binet in 1904, this ranking intervened with education, healthcare and in some cases, careers. We measure our ability to solve problems either through written tests or one-on-one in person tests administered by a psychologist. This score indicates some broad capacity we innately possess to assimilate the knowledge and information around us into practical, everyday applications. It's a measurement that can mean nothing to you, or everything to you, depending on how much power you choose to bestow upon it.

We measure ourselves according to how many years our bodies walk the planet. Time, a curious measurement, invisible yet quantifiable, acts as a gauge for our behavior and our expectations. We believe our digits in time holds some magical notch on the slide-rule of our lives and we act within the constraints of that number. We lose the child-like qualities that endear those young at heart to us. We lose the wonder that single-digit age brings with it to the miracle of life. No matter what our age, we gauge ourselves according to what others do and think and behave and then slip into the abyss of societal expectation and conformity based on wrinkles rather than laugh lines. Once, I saw a T-shirt that said, "I'm older than I act!" How wonderful! How liberating! Free from the trap of time, score yourself on your outlook rather than your birthdays.

If you could express yourself as a piece of music, what would it be? A long, slow-moving sonata? A fast-paced Fugue? A brash heavy metal piece or an angry rap rant? When you know your musical score, life unveils a new understanding of bars of music, falling into place, into harmony and with perfect timing. Wrap it up with a repeat Coda and a monumental Beethoven-like finale, "I'm done!" A musical score, so perfectly engineered with consistent beats, measures, rests, crescendos and pianissimos, played adeptly brings the full luster of life into our experiences. Sweeping through glissades of everyday occurrences, our musical score carries us through the moment with the timbre of perfection and the joy of the present.

We measure our ethics and morals against a barometer of religious dogma and theological teaching. We feel if we score highly on the obedience register, then something eternally awaits us - somewhere - sometime - beyond our present reach. We constantly measure the credits and debits of our behavior and thoughts to achieve a full accounting of a well lived life. History details numerous paths to enlightenment and various methodologies of achieving the high score of nirvana. Through time, ideals of the elusive life-beyond-this came at the expense of human freedom and the sacrifice of one's passion for life itself. Standing next to gauges of protocol and expectations, we ride the wave of our core beliefs into the shore of spirituality and face the inevitable ebb and flow of hope and despair. Yet, our measure of faith, or spiritual score, remains with us and we approach our final days with either a sense of peace and completion or a longing for more time or understanding. However you balance your relationship with the Creator, know that time and energy spent focusing on the intuition of your soul results in a fully mindful life. No one can tally the score of your spiritual life but you!

We measure a life by comparing one person to another both during life and after death. We see parallels between the living and the living and the dead and the dead as well as the living and the dead. As if comparison held any merit, the invisible, evaporative thoughts of deservedness or achievement or myriad other components of perspective hang clearly in the balance of a successful impact with our existence. We put a lot of energy into making a difference in the world, changing it for the better, helping others, and we forget our role as a recipient of life's treasures. Receiving, as with giving, perpetuates the rocking chair of comfort and balance and fulfillment. By receiving graciously the good things life offers us, we even the score of our philanthropic tape measure by deserving a good life for ourselves, as well as others.

When we reach the end of our time and place our hand on the doorknob of eternity, we understand that the illusion of control we held so dear in our day-to-day experiences renders itself irrelevant in the face of our Creator. God doesn't care how much you weighed, how much you gave away, or what kind of car your drove. Instead, Spirit looks at how much you enjoyed the gift of life and shared your enthusiasm for the wonder of the moment in your prestissimo existence.


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